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The lowest price isn't always the lowest price!

Imagine you just negotiated a great deal on a really cheap car, but you found out after driving off the lot, gas for that car costs $6 a gallon. That's what can happen when you go with the lowest price on an inkjet automated disc duplicator. You may have saved money now, but you could be paying for it later.

We assigned Tim, our MediaSupply.com website editor, the task of figuring out and explaining what the best solution is for inkjet automated disc publishers. Here's what he came up with.

The Epson DiscProducer has a cartridge for each ink color, and their cartridges have much more ink capacity than all others. Only print in blue? Then you only run through blue ink. Epson estimates a cost of $0.01 for printing plain text and $0.08 for a disc with 75% photo & 25% text print coverage. They estimate they print "1,000 or more," per cartridge, but with six separate cartridges, it's tricky to get an exact cost. You still need to install a full set of cartridges at setup, so your intial cost per print will be higher. That number should decrease as you start replacing just ink cartridges you actually use.

header Microboards has historically been the leader in low cost per print with inkjet automated duplication, alwayss offering ink cartridges witht the hightest capacity. Microboards has a nice range of products, starting with the single cartridge G3 with a cost of about $0.23 for a full coverage disc. The MX Series has 4 inkjet cartidges, so that saves you money when you only use the cartridge you print with the most. The MX series brings the cost per print down to between $0.11 to $0.18 per disc. The wildcard here is Microboards uses an HP print engine, which really deliveres a beautiful finish.

header Primera provides a very informative chart, showing different cartridge yields and print costs for different designs. It's very helpful, but Primera seems to have capped all their cost per prints at a max of $0.25 per disc. You can easily eclipse that cost per print on the SE model, which has a single ink cartridge. Things get much more cost effecive with the Bravo 4100 series, and Primera then throws in a wildcard into the discussion with their super fast print speeds. You may well be willing to pay a good bit more per print if printing a full color discs in less than 10 seconds helps you get your job done.

header Rimage doesn't really promote the 2000i for its low print costs. The Rimage 2000i has some older techology when it comes to inkjet printing, and although it has a black and color cartridge, but the cost per print is in the range of $0.31 per disc based on the pricing of an inkjet media kit. The big benefits of the 2000i are the heavy duty autoloading mechanism, HP print engine and Rimage's powerful software. With the available OfficeNet software option you get most of Rimage's powerful publishing tools, normally just available on their larger publishing systems.


It's easy to make the decision on what inkjet automated duplicator to purchase when you look at how you will use it:

  • How many discs are you producing per month?
    • 5-50 per month? Go with a low priced duplicator with a reasonable cost per print, like the Microboards G3
    • 100-250 per month? Consider a Epson PP-50, Microboards CX or Primera 4100, all units with sturdy mechanisms and lower costs per print.
    • 500 plus per month? Consider the Epson DiscProducer, where the cost per print will pay for the higher unit cost in about 60 days, and the solid automation is very reliable.
  • Is your standard artwork a single color or maybe just black type? Go with one of the printers using multiple cartridges, like the Microboards MX series or Epson DiscProducer. You'll save a lot paying to replace just the color cartridge you use the most.
  • Do multiple users need to access your duplicator on your network? Choose the Rimage 2000i, Epson DiscProducer or Primera 4100 Series. These are available with advanced networking software.
  • Are you in a rush? Primera's 4100 series advertises a 6 second print, but in reality you can get a beautiful, high quality print in less than 10 seconds. In the world of inkjet where other printers can take over a minute per print that's a real time saver.

If you need more information or a recommendation feel free to contact us at 1-800-944-4237 or email us.